Gay PA Man Adopts His Partner For Financial Protections Found In Marriage
Pennsylvania is one of the 37 states where same-sex couples don't have access to marriage and its 1,100 rights and benefits. In an attempt to avoid inheritance tax discrimination because of Pennsylvania's anti-gay law, one couple has had to get rather creative.
As they age, John, 65, and Gregory, 73, are concerned with their financial situation and estate transfers. Being barred form marrying subjects this couple to a 15 percent inheritance tax should one of them pass. But adoption lowers that tax to a closer-to-marriage 4 percent. So, John has decided to adopt Gregory.
Because John's dad is still alive at 95, he could not legally have two fathers. So Gregory, though older, became the adopted son. The Daughin County Court judge who signed their papers was adamant in telling them that the adoption was "forever" and they would never be able to legally marry.
John understands people might think it odd that a 65-year-old would adopt a man eight years his senior. (The men asked that their last names not be used; "Gregory"'s first name has been changed too.)
"It's humorous to me," said John. "Gregory was a high school and college jock. Today, I am making dough for blueberry crostata and he is golfing. You're going to think of him as the dad, rather than me. … But it provided us with some level of comfort that we have protected each other as much as we can."